” They sent your pops to prison when he needed education” – J. Cole
The prison system is far too normalized in the United States. People profit from the system, many are imprisoned by it and everyone pays the price of mass incarceration. There is a number of things that I am passionate about, but I want to devote my research paper to better understanding of the prison system. A system with a number of flaws morally and is often overlooked by people not directly affected by it.
I was looking in the Criminology, Law, and Society section of Langson Library trying to find the section on juvenile detention and crimes. Growing up I never questioned how a child as young as six years old could be sent to prison. A few months ago I looked up the comparison on the juvenile prison system of the United States to other countries, what I generally found was that the U.S was more strict and likely to convict a child. For my primary source I found the book ” Our Rejected Children” by Albert Deutsch, who is known for his mental health advocacy in the United States. This book drew my attention first because of the title aligns with my sentiments about juvenile justice system. Second was the date 1950 that caught my attention because it one of the older books of the section and because the 1950s were a time of conformity. I think this a good starting point for me as I narrow down my research.
In his introduction Deutsch says,
The institutionalized children represent the hard core of the three to four hundred thousand troubled boys and girls who annually pass through our juvenile courts, and the mil- lions more whose problems go undetected and unresolved. They constitute the vast juvenile army of the rejected an army recruited from hordes of children who have been deprived of the most precious needs and rights of child- hood: love, understanding, security, guidance, fun, hope. They are our rejected children.
I feel that this source could help me make connection to themes of dehumanization, and lack of understanding, as well as normalizing something that is really should not be a normal thing.